Infotainment Factory: 'Positions up for grabs': Ashes selection heats up

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Monday, 22 July 2019

'Positions up for grabs': Ashes selection heats up


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Paceman Jhye Richardson is set to return from injury this weekend in Darwin and a hasty departure to England for the Ashes could potentially follow, after Australian coach Justin Langer said there were "three or four" spots available in the first Test XI.

"I think there is a couple of bowling positions up for grabs, probably a couple of batting positions," Langer said following the team's final intra-squad pre-game training session.

"There will be a lot of discussion about whether we have an extra spinner, a lot of discussion about whether we have an extra wicketkeeper.

"It won’t necessarily be a straight shootout, but there will certainly be good opportunities for guys."

Richardson will roll his arm over during a club game in the Northern Territory, the young gun's most significant milestone yet in his recovery from a dislocated shoulder.

The Test incumbent has been largely overlooked in speculation about Australia's Ashes squad, which will be finalised following this week's selection showdown in Southampton that involves the nation's top 24 cricketers.

But coach Justin Langer and chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns certainly haven't forgotten the 22-year-old, who made his Test debut in January and would have been part of Australia's World Cup campaign if not for an untimely shoulder injury.

Richardson won't be fully fit in time for Australia's first Test against England, which starts at Edgbaston on August 1.

But if the right-armer's return in Darwin is seamless he may then be parachuted into an Ashes tour game in Worcester, scheduled between the first and second Tests.

Jhye Richardson

Hosting the World Cup forced England to squeeze an entire Ashes series into six weeks, making it difficult to envisage Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc playing all five Tests.

The prospect of the frontline trio facing Worcestershire, in a clash starting two days after the first Test is slated to finish, is even slimmer.

Hohns' panel was expected to name a 16-man touring party but it's possible an additional player could be included and/or additional reinforcements could be summoned for the game in Worcester.

Langer was coy when asked about the size of the Ashes squad on the eve of this week's selection trial.

"I've got no doubt we'll have the flexibility we need. I had a good discussion with Belinda (acting head of team performance Belinda Clark)," Langer told reporters.

"We've got five Tests to play, a game in Worcester two days after the first Test. We'll have the flexibility."

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan, bedazzled by a potent display of swing bowling on Test debut, suggested earlier this year that Richardson must be part of Australia's XI in England.

"The Richardson style of bowler is exactly what you require," Vaughan said.

"That first game at Edgbaston, you need consistent movement and that's exactly what Jhye Richardson will do."

ASHES SELECTION SHOWDOWN IN SOUTHAMPTON

Meanwhile, the all important Australian intra-squad tour match kicks off tonight:

* The match between Australia's 24 Ashes contenders starts at 11am local time (8pm AEST) on Tuesday.

* The two teams, selected by assistant coaches Brad Haddin and Graeme Hick, have trained separately in recent days in an effort to replicate a match situation.

* It is the final audition for spots in Australia's Ashes squad, to be named after day four.

* The game is also Australia's one and only tune-up for the first Test against England, starting on August 1 at Edgbaston.

KEY BATTLES

Matthew Wade v Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc & Josh Hazlewood

Wade is in the form of his life, having dominated at domestic level during the past summer then delivered plenty of runs on Australia A's tour of England. A high-pressure innings of substance against Australia's Test quicks would surely ensure he is part of the Ashes squad.

https://twitter.com/cricketcomau/status/1153213882212614147

Marnus Labuschagne & Jon Holland v Steve Smith

One of many issues that selectors are struggling with is whether to include Holland as a second spinner. They have also flagged the prospect of Labuschagne being picked as a legspinning allrounder. The duo will have an ideal chance to build a compelling case if given a chance to bowl to arguably the world's best batsman and Australia's best player of spin.

Jackson Bird, Michael Neser & Chris Tremain v David Warner & Marcus Harris

Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood and James Pattinson are certainties to be picked in the touring party. The identity of the paceman claiming the final spot in the squad is less clear. These three quicks, along with Peter Siddle and Jhye Richardson, are all in the mix. Unsettling what is likely to be Australia's new-look opening partnership would impress selectors.

Brad Haddin XII: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Travis Head (capt), Marnus Labuschagne, Will Pucovski, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland.

Graeme Hick XII: Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine (capt), Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Chris Tremain, Nathan Lyon.

Paceman Jhye Richardson is set to return from injury this weekend in Darwin and a hasty departure to England for the Ashes could potentially follow, after Australian coach Justin Langer said there were "three or four" spots available in the first Test XI.

"I think there is a couple of bowling positions up for grabs, probably a couple of batting positions," Langer said following the team's final intra-squad pre-game training session.

"There will be a lot of discussion about whether we have an extra spinner, a lot of discussion about whether we have an extra wicketkeeper.

"It won’t necessarily be a straight shootout, but there will certainly be good opportunities for guys."

Richardson will roll his arm over during a club game in the Northern Territory, the young gun's most significant milestone yet in his recovery from a dislocated shoulder.

The Test incumbent has been largely overlooked in speculation about Australia's Ashes squad, which will be finalised following this week's selection showdown in Southampton that involves the nation's top 24 cricketers.

But coach Justin Langer and chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns certainly haven't forgotten the 22-year-old, who made his Test debut in January and would have been part of Australia's World Cup campaign if not for an untimely shoulder injury.

Richardson won't be fully fit in time for Australia's first Test against England, which starts at Edgbaston on August 1.

But if the right-armer's return in Darwin is seamless he may then be parachuted into an Ashes tour game in Worcester, scheduled between the first and second Tests.

Jhye Richardson

Hosting the World Cup forced England to squeeze an entire Ashes series into six weeks, making it difficult to envisage Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc playing all five Tests.

The prospect of the frontline trio facing Worcestershire, in a clash starting two days after the first Test is slated to finish, is even slimmer.

Hohns' panel was expected to name a 16-man touring party but it's possible an additional player could be included and/or additional reinforcements could be summoned for the game in Worcester.

Langer was coy when asked about the size of the Ashes squad on the eve of this week's selection trial.

"I've got no doubt we'll have the flexibility we need. I had a good discussion with Belinda (acting head of team performance Belinda Clark)," Langer told reporters.

"We've got five Tests to play, a game in Worcester two days after the first Test. We'll have the flexibility."

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan, bedazzled by a potent display of swing bowling on Test debut, suggested earlier this year that Richardson must be part of Australia's XI in England.

"The Richardson style of bowler is exactly what you require," Vaughan said.

"That first game at Edgbaston, you need consistent movement and that's exactly what Jhye Richardson will do."

ASHES SELECTION SHOWDOWN IN SOUTHAMPTON

Meanwhile, the all important Australian intra-squad tour match kicks off tonight:

* The match between Australia's 24 Ashes contenders starts at 11am local time (8pm AEST) on Tuesday.

* The two teams, selected by assistant coaches Brad Haddin and Graeme Hick, have trained separately in recent days in an effort to replicate a match situation.

* It is the final audition for spots in Australia's Ashes squad, to be named after day four.

* The game is also Australia's one and only tune-up for the first Test against England, starting on August 1 at Edgbaston.

KEY BATTLES

Matthew Wade v Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc & Josh Hazlewood

Wade is in the form of his life, having dominated at domestic level during the past summer then delivered plenty of runs on Australia A's tour of England. A high-pressure innings of substance against Australia's Test quicks would surely ensure he is part of the Ashes squad.

https://twitter.com/cricketcomau/status/1153213882212614147

Marnus Labuschagne & Jon Holland v Steve Smith

One of many issues that selectors are struggling with is whether to include Holland as a second spinner. They have also flagged the prospect of Labuschagne being picked as a legspinning allrounder. The duo will have an ideal chance to build a compelling case if given a chance to bowl to arguably the world's best batsman and Australia's best player of spin.

Jackson Bird, Michael Neser & Chris Tremain v David Warner & Marcus Harris

Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood and James Pattinson are certainties to be picked in the touring party. The identity of the paceman claiming the final spot in the squad is less clear. These three quicks, along with Peter Siddle and Jhye Richardson, are all in the mix. Unsettling what is likely to be Australia's new-look opening partnership would impress selectors.

Brad Haddin XII: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Travis Head (capt), Marnus Labuschagne, Will Pucovski, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland.

Graeme Hick XII: Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine (capt), Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Chris Tremain, Nathan Lyon.

https://ift.tt/2ZfuIc5
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